My Shelfari Bookshelf (These are seriously just a FEW of the hundreds of books I've read lately)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Part Deux

So the other great part about Christmas is spending the day with my family at my sister Dana's house.  We get there about 10 am and hang out until evening.  We play with new "toys", talk, EAT, and enjoy the day.  It's really one of my very favorite days of the year.  So, here are some pictures of that day. (I have more, but it takes forever to put each picture on and then position it, so I'll just put a few). 
Here's Brooklyn with Livy, trying out Owen's scooter. She had a great time!

Here are the 3 sassy princesses on the tramp. Tatum, Olivia, and Maya.  So cute! (Brooklyn's really trying to make it in their ranks.  She got to spend the night with them on Monday and she thought she was in heaven).

Maggie and Troy are sharing a conversation on the phone.  Allyson's blog has a cuter picture than this.  But it was sweet.  Mags loves her Uncle Troy lots!

Here's Coop with his new DS. They played with those lots that day.

And Carter playing with his DS!

Jere and Dixie (both obviously very sassy). Especially Jere. :)

Here's Allyson with her sweet baby Max.  (I have a cuter picture of Max I'll show you.  He's so dang sweet. Always happy and smiley, and very strong.  He is so cute!)

See, there's the cutie patootie! Look at those big eyes and sweet cheeks. Allyson got herself two sweet little babes. (Lucky duck!)

Since I'm always the one taking the pictures I had to beg someone to take one of me.  So, here we are...Troy and Jenny on this great day! I have other shots of family, but I think you get the idea.  We've got puzzles going on (read Dixie's post on that...hilarious!), games being played, football games on TV (where you will ALWAYS find Troy), food glorious food on the table, bike riding, trampoline jumping, ping-pong playing, air hockey playing, and talking and mingling going on all day.  It is truly the BEST. The end.

Project Saturday's continued...

So remember those project Saturdays we started a while ago?  Well, we've actually been keeping up on those, so I thought I'd give you a little update on our progress.  Troy worked for 12 hours laying sod in our backyard (after SEVERAL Saturdays just cleaning up and preparing the yard). I am so sad that I don't have a total before picture. But picture weeds as tall as children that can suck you in and never let you go. It was literally a jungle out there. After cleaning that up, Troy tilled the ground, and then laid the sod.  It's not totally finished yet (the sod part), but that will be finished this Saturday.  After that we are going to put a brick border all around and then put rocks and possibly some trees along the back fence.  We also left room for the garden we want to put in this spring.  So far, so good! 

Sibling Gifts

Alright, so this isn't Christmas Part Deux yet...but I forgot about a gift I wanted to share.  This year I decided that my kids needed to focus more on the giving, and that we needed to put more of our heart and soul into that and not just grab any old thing from the store. So, we decided to make gifts for each other.  I helped them look online for ideas, and sort of "nudged" them in a particular direction.  Needless to say they all ended up making the same gift for each other, but they were each unique.  We made fleece blankets.  I took each child separately to JoAnne's to get the fleece and they picked it out.  Then they made them.  Cooper had Carter, so he chose SpongeBob fleece (perfect), Carter had Brooklyn so he chose princess fleece (another perfect choice), and Brooklyn had Cooper, so we chose pirate/skull/treasure map type fleece.  Again, perfect. (I knew that cuz when we were choosing for Carter, Cooper said how much he loved it). Before Christmas Cooper ruined it for everyone by showing the fabric to Carter and telling him.  I was SO MAD!!! But, I got over it (sort of) and we went through with it anyway.  Just so you know, they were truly awesome gifts that they had to put a lot of time and effort into, and that they use every single day! (Alright, so Cooper's turned out the best...what can I say? Brooklyn's a natural blanket maker! :) Here's a picture of the 3 in their warm and lovingly made fleece blankets:

Christmas at the Crandell's

I LOVE Christmas. Have I ever mentioned that? For me it's ALL about the giving to my family.  I go a little bit crazy every year, and I've vowed to stop that because my kids don't fully appreciate it and they don't take care of their things. They have too much stuff, and yet always seem to be "bored." So this year we borrowed an idea from a friend of my mom's. They got 3 presents, and they had to make their lists according to a "need" a "want" and a "wish". Now you may think a want and a wish are the same, but I differentiated that by telling them that a want was something they wanted that they could probably get (not too expensive). A wish was something only Santa Claus could bring (my boys found out this year the sad truth, but I still explained it that way). It would be "the big one." Now, before I go further, I must say that I mostly stuck to my plan.  They did each get 3 gifts, but some gifts needed accessories, so they ended up opening about 5 gifts each. Also, I picked up tons of "family" gifts that they got to open because who can pass up the DVD deals for 3 and 5 dollars at Target??  So, on with the show!

Every Christmas Eve we spend in Heber with Troy's family, and Grandma Crandell gives all the grandkids pajamas. So here's a shot of that. Now we're ready for bed and for the arrival of Santa.

Brooklyn got her bran new kitchen this year from Santa! This was her  big gift, and let me tell you...she LOVES it! It even makes "bubbling" noises on the stove, and has a little phone that makes noise, too.  Santa found it at Wal-Mart for a smokin' deal the day after Thanksgiving. :
) (Nevermind her crazy hair in all these.  What's Christmas morning without crazy hair?)

Carter got a portable DVD player, which I didn't realize would be such a hit, but he loved it! He spent the morning in his underwear. Did I mention they got pajamas? Ya... but Carter really loves sleeping in his skivvies, so there you have it. At least they're not whitey tighties, right?

Cooper's "want" was an electronic keyboard.  When I first heard that I said no way. First of all, we have a piano that I can't get him to practice ever, so why would I get a keyboard? But then I found it for another serious deal on Black Friday, and I thought...why not? Maybe this will be more exciting than the piano and he'll practice? Let me just was a hit! He has played it everyday since, and absolutely loves it! Yay, me! :)

Brooklyn's next gift was a fairy dress up box because she LOVES to dress up so much! 

Alright, so this was the super duper wish for the boys this year. A Nintendo DS. I told them it wasn't gonna happen.  These things are very expensive, and they hardly took care of the Game Boys they got 2 years ago. However, I found the BEST deal at Game Crazy the day after Thanksgiving, and so...they got lucky! However, these are the things that needed accessories, so that's why they got more to open (games, a carrying case, etc.) But needless to say, these were a very exciting gift from "Santa"!

OK, so it's not quite as fun to open your DS after you already know what it is, but it was still a fave! :) They were both quite happy.

Accessories for the kitchen. :)

The "need" for both boys was definitely shoes, and they both had their own choices there.  Cooper has really wanted Converse type shoes.  I found his at Old Navy for $8.95, so I totally scored because he LOVED them! Carter, unfortunately, wanted DC's, which cost considerably more.  But I made a good choice and he thought they were perfect. So both boys were happy, which, I gotta tell you, is rare! 

Brooklyn also got a little Cabbage Patch baby and a Princess hideaway tent.  She loved both! :)

Troy got a 16 gb Sansa MP3 player, and I got a Wii Fit! We both loved them, and thankfully for pictures of our glamour in the morning! 

Stay tuned for Christmas part deux!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas beauty

Just wanted to show you how 'dorable my little Brookers was for Christmas. I feel bad cuz I don't have any pictures of my boys, but seriously...they aren't that excited about "dressing up" for any occasion, so they just looked normal. I have lots of catching up to do, but thought I'd give you a little glimpse of my beauty! :)
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Sunday, November 23, 2008


K, so here's the deal-i-o. I have SO much to blog about, but I just can't get motivated to do it (or to upload the pictures), so I'm just gonna give you the quick low-down.

A) I DIDN'T (thankfully) break my toe. Turns out it was dislocated (though it hurt like a break). I found that out when I accidentally stretched my toes, felt the POP (and it HURT), and the next day I could move it. It was puprle for another week, but doing fine.

B) The Saturday projects continue. Again, I was LAME to not get a before picture of the yard, but we've already spent 2 Saturdays on it, and it's still not done (that should give you an idea of the enormity of this job). We cleaned up all the "crap" (literally), we raked up all the dead mile high weeds, (filling up about 8 GIANT black bags in the process), then Troy tilled the yard and spray painted where the border will go, and next week we put in the sod. Oh yea, he also fixed the sprinklers which was the real problem in the first place. We even sectioned off a part for a garden (next project = scared).

C) I pulled off the elementary school 4-6 grade choir concert. (I direct it with the music teacher at school). It was Tuesday, and let's just say I'm glad it's over! I learned a lot. :)

D) I just returned from 5 days in San Antonio, TX where I went to attend a teacher's convention with 10 other teachers and the principal from my school. I had a BLAST! But San Antonio? I don't recommend it to anyone. It was just plain ugly. Not much to do. The Riverwalk is cool, I guess, but if you want to experience something like it, just go to the Tempe Town Lake and walk around. Done. The Alamo was neat also, but nothing super awe-inspiring or anything. At least not for me. The fun was hanging out with the people there--that was GREAT! I also enjoyed going to the classes and getting LOTS of free books (cuz you can NEVER have too many books!)

E) Saw Twilight. I liked it...but then the more I thought about it, the more things I didn't like about it. I hated Edward. His make up looked like the joker (seriously, who was on hair and make up in this thing??) I liked Bella, and I LOVED the high school friends. They were perfect and hilarious. I just think Edward was too skinny and small, and he also was TOO tortured (even though I know he's tortured in the book). It was too much. Bad acting. There were parts and times where I thought he was sexy, but the black eyeliner and eyebrows and WHITE face and dark red lips were over the top. I thought Jacob looked weird. I think they did all the important scenes from the book, and I overall liked it...but there were a lot of little things that were just weird--like the scene in the woods. Just laying on the grass? Seriously, what was that all about? Also, the timeline didn't seem believable at all--she's already so in love with him right away, and if I hadn't read the books I wouldn't think that was believeable at all! I knew the story and had read the whole thing unfold, but in the movie it felt like it all happened in about a day, not a whole school year. Just not enough depth. What did anyone else think? So my initial feeling was thumbs feeling now? Thumb in the middle. Not totally bad, definitely not totally great. I'm sure I'll still buy it though...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brooklyn's spa day

So yesterday on our Veteran's Day off from school, Brooklyn and I decided to get all dolled up and go for pedis! :) She loves to be totally girly and have her hair (and make up if at all possible) done, and she loves to have her nails painted.  Since she's only 2 1/2, though, it's a bit hard for her to sit still for very long.  However, she did great yesterday.  This is a series of shots of her throughout the experience.  It's really hard to get a 2 year old to not move and to not touch her nails on anything, but she was a champ! I don't know what the deal is with her mouth--she's doing this weird thing with it instead of smiling, and it's a bit annoying, but I still think she's cute! So enjoy Brooklyn's big day out. (She got flowers on her big toes AND on her thumbs! The lady didn't ask me if I wanted to pay for those, she just did them, and I had to pay for them anyway. :( Oh well. Brooklyn loved them).

What the???

So, I BROKE my toe this morning just before leaving for school! Yea...seriously.  I must have some of the most brittle bones ever because I have now officially broken two toes, my arm twice, and my ankle.  What is up with that?  I was simply turning around to walk out of Brooklyn's room to get my shoes on, and as I turned and stepped, I kicked her toy box right on the edge, and BROKE my dang toe! I thought I had actually broken two, but thankfully not.  I hit my 2nd and 3rd toes on my left foot, screamed a little, then just kept going on as usual.  But when the pain didn't recede, but got worse and worse I suspected this was more than just a "stub." The ride to school was pretty bad, and by the time I got to school my toe was a bit black and blue and I couldn't really walk.  Luckily the secretary had a "boot" I could wear because that helped a lot, and I kept ice on it all day.  Also luckily I have a student teacher so I could keep my foot up all day while she taught. :) BUMMER! But, thank goodness I got a pedi just yesterday, so at least I have pretty toes! You can't really see the black and blue in this picture, but I tried.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Just because it's cute

Remember how I was just strolling down memory lane? I saw this one and couldn't help myself. It's one of my ALL TIME favorite pictures with my boys! I love it!
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So, I was "tagged" by Lana, and I'm finally doing my duty! I went to my third folder in my pictures and opened the third picture, and this is what I found. My CUTE little guys at Jonathan and Mandi's wedding in 2003. Seriously, could they be more adorable? Cooper was 4 and Carter was 2 1/2. This was at the Arizona temple. There are some other extremely cute pictures in this folder. It's kinda fun to stroll down memory lane with these!  I tag Allyson, Emily, Kristi, and Mandi.
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First Crandell Project

Alright, so as you know we've been working on being a better family in all ways.  First was finally getting a good routine of reading scriptures and praying as a family.  Check.  Next is trying to get our boys to be more responsible--having a chore chart and a way to earn "Crandell cash" which can convert into real dollars to be used as desired (after putting 10% into tithing and 10% into savings). Check. (Well, in theory it's happening, they're just still not great at it at all).  Finally, we want our kids (and ourselves) to be more hardworking and full of service.  However, before we should bust out the service for others, we figured we needed to first tackle some serious projects at our own house.  We felt that working together as a family was what we were lacking and would help us be a better, stronger family.  Trust me, we have a list of project ideas a mile long.  We spent a whole FHE coming up with what projects we will start tackling on our "Project Saturdays."  (That's more sleeping in, reading/watching TV/playing video games on the weekends.  It's work time!!)  Here is our list:
1) Clean up the back yard and plant grass (if you've ever seen our yard, you'll understand that this in itself is probably the biggest project around.  If you haven't seen it, count yourself blessed).
2) Clean out the garage (again...WOW.  Need I say more?)
3) Pass off scout requirements
4) Do piano flashcards 
5) Pick up trash
6) Organize things in the house, such as: bookshelves, clothing, toys, shelves, computer desks, videos/DVDs
7) Paint: family room/kitchen, curtain rods
8) Plant flowers in our front yard
9) Plant a garden

Now some of you may look at those as some extremely lofty goals.  And you'd be right.  But, since we are taking the prophet's counsel to heart, we are going for it.  We started this Saturday. I'm so sad that I don't have a before picture--because we couldn't even WALK in our garage it was so full of crap.  We were really trying to be able to park in the garage, but since we have a retardedly tiny garage, we still can't. doesn't matter because we can WALK in there now!!  I can get to my freezer with ease, I know where all of our camping supplies are.  I've put all of Brooklyn's old clothes (6 TUBS FULL) into those space saver bags (which I don't think are that great, BTW), and I can get to our food storage.  So...3 photos for your viewing pleasure.  I realize the right side of the garage is still full of stuff, but at least it is organized. Enjoy!
In our cleaning frenzy I also organized all of our videos and DVDs and the bookshelf in the front room.  I was on FIRE!  Next Saturday?  The backyard begins...

Happy LATE Halloween!!

Yea, so in the spirit of "catching up" on my blogs, I'm going to post my oober late Halloween pics, because they are cute!  For the first year ever I didn't get pictures of my boys carving their pumpkins and I'm a bit sad about that.  However, I did get them all in their Halloween finery.  Brooklyn was Princess Cinderella, of course (her new fave), and the boys, who used to be the cutest and most brave of super heroes refuse to be anything but scary disgusting monsterish things nowadays.  I'm a mean mom, though, and don't let them be totally sick (which makes them mad, but least I'm letting them dress up sort of scary at all, right??) They were as "scary" as they could be.  Cooper was some sort of vampire (with the yucky blood on his mouth), and Carter was "Death."